Bar Lola Closing/Owners Launching New Restaurant

Owners Guy and Stella Hernandez will be closing down Bar Lola as of November 16, and will be redirecting all their energies to launching a new restaurant in Portland. They’re close to securing a space for the as-yet unnamed restaurant and hope to open sometime in February 2014.

In explaining their motivation to launch a new venture, chef/owner Guy Hernandez explains,

We want to loosen our ties and make the process of cooking and dining out more transparent and less precious. A lot of places don’t give their customers the option to dine in a way they feel most comfortable – they’re either too rigid, have too many menu restrictions, or are too formal. And in most cases, food just magically appears from a distant kitchen. We want to change that paradigm and give the dining public a place in which they can feel that they are part of the action as an array of wonderful ingredients are transformed into dishes on the menu.

The plan is for the restaurant to be open 11am straight through to closing 6 days a week. They describe the new dining experience this way,

…from the moment you enter you’ll immediately be surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells of the visible ingredients, coupled with real, accessible cooking, all anchored by a custom-made, wood-fired grill. It will be warm and welcoming, and will inspire customers to stop in at any time of the day to get a carefully crafted snack and glass of wine from an extensive by-the-glass list, supported by a deeper, by-the-bottle cellar. Or, customers can choose to compose a full meal from what’s on hand that day from the restaurant’s purveyors.

I’m a big fan of Bar Lola will be sorry to see it go but am very excited to see what Guy and Stella have in store for us next.

What’s Next for Wannawaf

The Bangor Daily News spoke to Wannawaf owner Anya Arsenault about the planned closure of her Portland location and thoughts what she might do next with the space.

But don’t count her out just yet.

Later this fall she may reinvent herself as a lunch caterer.

“I’m thinking of scrapping the waffle sign off the window and doing boxed lunches,” said Arsenault, who is looking for business partners. “I’m an entrepreneur. I still have to pay the rent.”

Closing & Construction—Sweet Marguerites & Figa Replacement

A pair of updates on Portland’s ever changing food landscape:

  • I was very sad to hear this week that Sweet Marguerites has gone out of business. I will be in mourning over the loss of their Fleur de Sel Caramels. Best of luck to Meg and Anna in whatever they do next.
  • Lee Farrington, chef/owner of Figa, has announced that she’s “[a]cquired a new business partner” and will be launching a new venture at 249 Congress Street in Spring/Summer 2014.

DiPietro’s Closing after 69 Years

According to a report in today’s Press Herald, DiPietro’s sandwich shop on Cumberland Ave will be closing their doors as of August 18. The shop was founded by Warren and Grace DiPietro in 1944.

A banner hanging outside says, “Thanks for your loyalty. We will be closing to enjoy retirement. Come in and savor one of our famous Italians because, as Joey used to say, you’ve eaten the rest, now try the best.”

Joey is the late Joseph DiPietro, who took over the store from his parents in 1966. He died in 2003.